Planning on Being Stupid?

It seems I’m planning on being stupid. Alas, I am not alone. On a grand cultural and political level, it often seems that stupidity is not always spontaneous, but rather many people plan and then execute being stupid. Examples include borrowing vast sums for degrees that will in no way aide you in making the vast sums you’ll need to pay back the loans. At no point in the process did the thought arise that this might not be a good idea? Politics presents many such examples: this time, the panic-driven government action will result in a solution to whatever (largely ginned up) crisis is being hard-sold today; this time, the various police institutions can/cannot be trusted more than anybody else; this time, our loyalty will be repaid by something other than the claim that the other guys would have done worse.

At some point, after enough repetitions, enough time to think it over, enough examples of the outcomes, one would almost have to conclude that either people are really, actively blind in a truly scary way or that the continued hope that, this time, the results will be different is, effectively, a plan of sorts. Perhaps these options are not mutually exclusive nor exhaustive…

But I digress. This is all about ME! And how stupid I’m planning to be.

At the moment, the plan is as follows: As soon as I get home, throw on some work clothes and head out front to work on prepping the forms for a small concrete pour (maybe 8 cubic feet) that is the next step in the Front Yard Improvement Project that was begun, oh, 3 years ago? If I can get it ready tonight, maybe I can pour this weekend when my teenage son will be available to help. He helped me pour the last somewhat larger stage:

IMG_3892
The concrete underlay for the ramp up to the front door, last year’s May/Junes project. David helped a lot, hefting bags, adding water, just doing stuff. He’s a year older and bigger this year, too. So I’ll get him to help this weekend when he gets back from a week’s camping.

This current step requires a bunch of hands-and-knees work measuring, laying out, hammering in stakes, laying in some rebar, as well as some digging (very little at this point). With luck and not counting the inevitable run(s) to the hardware store, maybe 3 hours of work? I tend to overestimate my efficiency, so – 4?

For many years, I’ve done stuff like this. Today, however:

  • it’s near 100F outside;
  • I’m 60 years old;
  • In possibly related news, my hands, back and knees have about a 2 hr limit on stuff like this. Any more than that, and I’ll pay for the next several days.

Why now, why not put it off? You might prudently ask.

These are the days, for next 2 months, where it is light enough after work to do anything. If I can get the forms & rebar done, I can pour concrete this weekend, then start in laying bricks in the evenings when I come home during the week. This stretch is nice and straight and orderly, so that I can mix a bag of mortar, put in 20-30 bricks in a couple hours, clean up and be in before dark. Do that a couple times a week for a few weeks, and I’m done.

Besides, been putting it off all spring. Truth is, I’ve been not feeling well. This has been going on for months or years, depending on how you want to count it. Think it has something to do with the array of blood pressure meds I’m on, but I’m not sure. Went through the whole stress test/EKG/bloodwork etc. maybe 9 or 10 months ago, and they seem to think I was fine. Yet, here I am, dragging around, falling asleep in the middle of the day, getting woolly-headed (a particularly discouraging thing for a guy who lives in his own head as much as I do), feeling generally weak and tired. Tasks both physical and mental that I used to throw myself at now seem to wear me out promptly or too difficult to even try.

However: Never give up! Never surrender!

So I think I’ll try, again, to muscle through it and see how it goes. Put on a hat, bring a big pitcher of water, and do it. Wish me luck.

It should be more like 90F by the time I get started. Balmy!

 

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Author: Joseph Moore

Enough with the smarty-pants Dante quote. Just some opinionated blogger dude.

15 thoughts on “Planning on Being Stupid?”

  1. I would bet it’s the meds. Pretty much every prescription medicine I’ve ever taken has made me feel lousy in one way or another. If you’re on an array of them, I would bet the farm that one or more of them is the culprit.

    1. I bet you’re right. I’ve even experimented w/out the doc’s permission, and skipped one or another for a week or two. Sometimes, it helps. When I run down the list of side effects for the drugs taken individually, I’ve got half the side effects! Sleepy, dizzy, weak, can’t sleep when I want to, fall asleep in the middle of the day when I don’t want to (and swollen ankle and dry mouth – but I can deal with those.) And this doesn’t take into consideration interactions.

      This is a classic medicine versus science situation: to figure all this out, not just side effects but interactions, would take a large set of massive controlled study over years – and nobody’s paying for that, and, if required, would simply cause medicines to come off the market.

      So, instead, we all get to be guinea pigs: they just prescribe stuff in any combination, with little if any knowledge about how drug A reacts to drug B when the patient is also taking drugs C, D, and E. Which is my situation. Then they wait for people to get sick or die, then investigate those case when they can (if it’s too few and not attributable enough, oh well, life is hard.)

      Yet, the overall efforts of medicine seem to be positive, so we put up with the hoodoo.

      1. Even the side-effects can be just the most common of screwball reactions– my dad gets opioid level loopy on motrin, sleeping meds do nothing to me, antihistamines cause depression in a sizable group…..

      2. So true – we’re funny beasts, we humans, and simply refuse to behave exactly like each other all the time.

        One of the most egregious examples of scientism is the way we are supposed to assume doctors know what they’re doing. Honest ones will admit that about 99% of the time they are just trying to keep you alive so whatever it is that your body does to keep you healthy has a chance to take over.

        But, instead, we just accept radical over-certainty from our medical professionals. God bless them, they’re trying. But they are operating almost as much from ignorance as the patients they treat.

    1. I was prescribed prostate medicine, which works really well on my prostate. The problem is that the rest of my body feels like I have the flu. And they want me to take it every day for the rest of my life.

      1. So sorry! That sucks!. OTOH, I’m now getting very motivated to lose about 75 lbs, which would probably take care of the blood pressure problems.

    2. Thanks, especially for your prayer.

      For the last couple minutes, I’ve been looking for a simple, scientific chart: blood pressure versus mortality/morbidity. Something like:

      120/80 = 1 – the baseline. Then, you’d show annual morbidity/mortality numbers banded by blood pressure ranges, such that:

      129/80 = 1.001 or whatever, and similarly for each band. (The bands are published) In other words, simple direct total population info, THEN slice it by other factors, such as age, obesity, any other factors.

  2. Have you ever done a sleep study? I only mention it because the fatigue you’re experiencing sounds a lot like someone who suffers from sleep apnea. Sleep apnea is linked to high blood pressure as well. Might be something to rule out before messing with meds.

    1. Thanks, yes, I did a sleep apnea thing, and do in fact have and use a CPAP machine. It helps a lot getting sleep at night (when I can fall asleep). However, even with a good solid 8 hrs, I still tend to fall asleep during the day. Less when I get 7-8 hours, but still happens.

      1. Well, I wish you luck figuring out if the meds are the culprit! Sometimes a good pharmacist can tell you more than your doctor can about how your meds are interacting with each other, side effects, etc. Fatigue is miserable to deal with on a day to day basis–my experience is more with chronic sleep deprivation from the baby/toddler years of mothering, but it’s not fun no matter what the cause.

  3. While at first glance, it may appear strange to plan on being stupid, hey, at least you have a plan. That puts you miles ahead of the way most of the population muddles through life.

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